grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Sunday, August 12, 2007


This is the window I took from the alley. In Chicago the alley is where the trash goes. That was very different for me when I moved here since we put the trash on the curb and basically had no alleys where I lived in the South. People also put junk they need to dispose of there like this old window and several times per day a junk truck drives by to nab anything of value. I often wonder if these junk people are like hookers with their own territory or if they go to different locations all the time in hopes of finding better crap but I've never taken the time to notice if it's the same people who pick up junk from our alley. The closest encounter I had with one of these people was over at Mr. and Mrs. Woodchip's house very early morning when I was out there picking up a load. It was actually a junk lady. When I saw the junk truck coming down the alley I wondered if I was about to get cussed out for taking stuff from their turf but she just smiled, said hello and moved along.

I didn't find this window trolling through alleys for junk. It was thrown out by the people right behind us and I saw it one afternoon pulling into my garage. After seeing how much trellises cost I've been keeping an eye out for cheap ones and the first thing I thought when I saw this old window was CHEAP TRELLIS.

I took the glass out, sanded it a little and painted it lime green. This picture doesn't really show just how lime the green window is but I love it! I thought the color would look nice against the other shades of green in front of it and against a couple of peoples' advice I planted a Sweet Autumn Clematis at the foot of it. In my defense, I read that I could cut the SAC down to around 6-12 inches above ground in the Spring to keep it more manageable. So, that's the plan.


  1. Your trellis turned out great! You should change the title of your post to "Terrific Trash". :-)

  2. Hey Gina,

    I read somewhere , too, that you can cut Sweet Autumn clematis down near the ground , however, I caution you not to. It takes a heck of a lot longer to grow back if you do. I just left it as it was and in the spring when it leafed out I just pulled out any dead vine.

    I like your trellis, however, I've found that most of them are hidden when the vines take over. If you want to use the window as garden art I think it would look good just attached to the fence in a spot where you could enjoy it and the plants aren't too tall.

  3. I cut my SAC down every year and it grows like mad. In my area at least, the vines are generally have died back quite a ways down. I have had to prune mine back twice this year and it is still about 10 feet high and going everywhere. Granted, it has taken about 8 or 9 years to become this rampant. But now I regret planting it in the perennial garden. I would suggest cutting out every other shoot as it grows older so you can contain it.

    I like Carolyn's idea of using the trellis as an art piece. The color is really pretty and it looks great there.

    Oh yes, your window boxes are very professional looking. Great job!

    P.S. I don't prune my SAC until the spring time - just incase we have a very harsh winter.

  4. I'm only in my second year with the Sweet Autumn clematis and it's grown like MAD. I have it on a small obelisk in the bigger garden and I've had to trim it back half a dozen times already, because it's so tall and flopping over from the top of the obelisk.

    I love your window! And the lime green is one of my favorite shades for lots of things, in and out of the garden!

  5. I think trash picking might be a northern thing cause my husband's parents in nashville said they never heard of that. Here in my neighborhood, it's typical to put out on the curb stuff you don't want. And we have "trash to treasure collectors" who come by weekly. Welcome to Chicago!

  6. well great! now what do I do with the SAC? do I dig it up and plant it in the alley?